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Off topic: What are your country's typical (and favourite) children's books?
Thread poster: Andrea Riffo

Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 16:03
English to Spanish
May 28, 2007

Hello everyone!!

At age 6, my youngest nephew is turning out to be quite a bookworm (no offense intended, I am extremely proud of him!) and I am doing my best to provide him with as many books as I can that might catch his interest.

So far we've covered the Papelucho saga (by Marcela Paz), which is the typical Chilean series for children of up to 8 years old (app.) and some of Alicia Morel's stories (also Chilean). Still, I think that his love for reading opens a world of opportunities to him and that, given his interest in everything written, it would be a pity not to encourage or help him to read literature from different countries and cultures and expand his horizons even further.

Sooooooooo

Here comes the question:

What books/authors do you consider to be essential in your country's "children's literature" scenario? Do you have any favourites? Any special recommendations? (I'll try to find the translations into Spanish)

I'm thinking of books for 8-9-year-olds since Jaimito has been reading since he was 4. I know I enjoy (yes, still!) all of Roald Dahl's books immensely but I'm not sure if they would be fit for him and don't remember how old I was the first time I read them.

He also gave the Narnia books a try, but it seems that talking animals just don't do it for him... stories of mischief by young boys in our everyday world, on the other hand... Perhaps Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing?

[Edited at 2007-05-28 18:35]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-05-29 15:23]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:03
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Finnish classics May 28, 2007

like the Moomin books by Tove Jansson are still very popular. Among the newer ones I would mention the books by the Nopola-sisters.
I have just read Poo the Bear for the first time. I never heard about it before I came to Finland.
I should ask a librarian before I know for sure what are the real hits today in Finnish libraries.
Cheers
Heinrich


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Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:03
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
My personal favourites.... May 28, 2007

I hope kids are still reading these, but my personal favourites were The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Both books are wonderfully illustrated and great fun.

I've read Matilda by Roald Dahl countless times and consider it my all-time favourite book both in my childhood and adulthood.


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:03
English to Dutch
+ ...
for the Netherlands... May 28, 2007

For Dutch children's literature, you can't get around the books of Annie M.G. Schmidt. Already three generations of children have been brought up on her marvelous works. Dutch people of all ages know her rhymes by heart, and her characters Jip & Janneke have become idiom.
See http://www.annie-mg.com/start_2.html

And people all over the world know Dick Bruna's 'Nijntje' books, little colourful booklets about a very simply drawn little female rabbit. Left pages are always a four line rhyme, right pages one big drawing.
See http://www.nijntje.nl/nijn.php?form=2


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xxxsofiablu
Netherlands
Local time: 21:03
Dahl, Pitzorno and Geronimo Stilton May 28, 2007

My daughter Sofia, now 16, has been always been a bookworm since the age of 4, like your Jaimito.

I remember her avidly reading and re-reading Roald Dahl's "Matilda", "The Witches", "The BFG", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" since she was 6-7, so I think Jaimito is ready for them and I hope he'll enjoy them just as much as Sofia did.

She also loved an Italian writer, Bianca Pitzorno, very popular and best-selling in Italy, whom has been translated into French, German and Spanish according to http://www.italcultur.org.uk/library/teenagers.htm.

Like many other kids all over the world, Sofia has passed through the Harry Potter Mania, then loved Eoin Colfer's "Artemis Fowl" and Philip Pullman's trilogy "His dark Materials", the first two books of which have been translated into Italian by our most excellent colleague Alfredo Tutino.

Nowadays, the most successful children's books in Italy are those written by the mouse-publisher Geronimo Stilton, translated into 35 languages, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geronimo_Stilton, I think Jaimito will love them.

One of my all-time favorite books is "Pinocchio", a wonderful Bildungsroman both for kids and grown-ups.

May Jaimito have plenty of enjoyable reading hours!
Cheers,
P.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:03
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Harry Potter and Alice May 28, 2007

Andrea Riffo wrote:

Hello everyone!!

At age 6, my youngest nephew is turning out to be quite a bookworm (no offense intended, I am extremely proud of him!) and I am doing my best to provide him with as many books as I can that might catch his interest.

So far we've covered the Papelucho saga (by Marcela Paz), which is the typical Chilean series for children of up to 8 years old (app.) and some of Alicia Morel's stories (also Chilean). Still, I think that his love for reading opens a world of opportunities to him and that, given his interest in everything written, it would be a pity not to encourage or help him to read literature from different countries and cultures and expand his horizons even further.

Sooooooooo

Here comes the question:

What books/authors do you consider to be essential in your country's "children's literature" scenario? Do you have any favourites? Any special recommendations? (I'll try to find the translations into Spanish)

I'm thinking of books for 8-9-year-olds since Jaimito has been reading since he was 4. I know I enjoy (yes, still!) all of Roald Dahl's books immensely but I'm not sure if they would be fit for him and don't remember how old I was the first time I read them.

He also gave the Narnia books a try, but it seems that talking animals just don't do it for him... stories of mischief by young boys in our everyday world, on the other hand... Perhaps Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing?

[Edited at 2007-05-28 18:35]


In the UK nowadays, I guess the Harry Potter books must be the most popular children's literature, and they are sure to have been translated into Spanish and most languages.
As for "children's classics" we have Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, the Winnie the Pooh books, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows and Arthur Ransome's many adventures, starting with Swallows and Amazons - ultra pre-war British!
A book I loved when I was about 12 - The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. Don't know if it's still in print or been translated, but it was a fascinating adventure.
Regards,
Jenny.


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Fernando Tognis  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 16:03
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Maria Elena Walsh and Elsa Bornemann May 28, 2007

Two of my childhood favourites. Argentinian Classics.
Regards


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:03
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
all books by Astrid Lindgren May 28, 2007

She is the best

Selma Lagerlöf: "Nils Holgersson"

We had also our Russian authors: Korney Chukovsky, for example


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 16:03
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much! May 28, 2007

Heinrich, I'll search for Jansson's and the Nopola sisters' books in Spanish... if I don't find them I'll search for them in English for myself. I love so-called "children's literature" and am eager to read something by authors that are thus far unkown to me (and from such far away countries).

Rebecca, I have heard of Where the Wild Things Are many times, so I'll look into it. I think Matilda might be dead on for him, since it's about a normal girl who lives in a normal world who happens to discover she has magic, as opposed to books that take place in completely magical worlds... those bore him :/ With that in mind, perhaps Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and George's Marvelous Medicine might be good choices as well, wereas The BFG might not... mmmm...

Jan, thank you for those links and recommendations!! It's what I had in mind, looking for children's "must-reads" from different countries

Sofiablu, I hadn't heard of Pitzorno nor Stilton, so I'll give them a try as well, thanks for the tip!

Jenny, a quick google search leads me to believe that he will really appreciate Ransome's books

Sofiablu and Jenny, regarding the Harry Potter mania, well... perhaps he's still too young for those books, but it's become pretty apparent that fantasy is not his cup of tea... Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia nearly put him to sleep, wereas he simply devoured an [extremely] abridged version of Oliver Twist.

Unfortunately, that means no Phillp Pulman either, which is a pity since I have become one of the biggest and more enthusiastic advocates for his Dark Materials trilogy since I discovered it in 2004.


Thank you
Andrea


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 16:03
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
more thanks ;) May 28, 2007

Fernando, thanks for those names. I'd heard of María Elena Walsh but not of Elsa Bornemann, so I'll probably bribe a friend form Bs. As. so that he mails me some of their books

Erika, is Lindgren the author of Pippi Longstocking (which I assume is the English translation)?? If so, I definitely must get my hand on a copy in Spanish. And Nils Holgersson!! Thanks for reminding me of that one!! I read it at school when I was about 12 years old and remember I loved it back then...

thanks all


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:03
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
-ology books May 28, 2007

My six-year old grandson loves -ology books: Dragonology, Piratology, and Egyptology.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
A few from my childhood... May 28, 2007

The "Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective" books (I don't know they're still in print)
"Where the Wild Things Are" by Sendak
"The Little Engine that Could"
"The Phantom Toolbooth" (by N. Juster - a classic, and reportedly available in a good Spanish translation)
The "Three Investigators" books
"Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss (among many other books of his)
The "Curious George" books

And various imports from abroad:
Roald Dahl's books for children (especially "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach")
"Pippi Longstocking"
"Mary Poppins"
The "Winnie the Pooh" stories
Collections of stories by Hans Christian Andersen


[Edited at 2007-05-28 22:20]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:03
French to English
+ ...
Dick King-Smith May 28, 2007

Hi Andrea,

My boys are now 18 and 15, but I've been trying to think back to what they enjoyed at 6. I know Dick King-Smith - author of Babe the Sheep Pig and The Fox Busters amongst many others, was very popular when they were little and they adored Enid Blyton of course. Strangely, the more old-fashioned authors which I'd loved, such as Arthur Ransome and Frances Hodgson-Burnett, didn't go down as well, although perhaps they lend themselves more to being read aloud. Tolkien's Hobbit was certainly a great favourite for reading aloud and then reading for themselves when they were a little older.

I think Philip Pullmann, Anthony Horowitz et al are definitely more suitable for teenagers and my younger son has recently devoured the whole of the Cherub series by Robert Muchamore in one sitting more or less - quite a recommendation!

Lemony Snicket's "Series of Unfortunate Events" has also been popular, although again I think that's probably for pre-teens.

All the best - and happy reading!


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Yvette Neisser Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nancy Drew May 28, 2007

I can't remember at what age I started reading them, but I loved Nancy Drew mystery books when I was a kid, and my 8-year-old niece reads them now, so I think they're still classic.

Also, I don't remember authors, but--The Secret Garden

Also, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle.

And, again, I don't remember what age they are appropriate for, but:

The Anne of Green Gables series is classic, I think has been made into a movie here in the US. I LOVED this series as a girl, read and reread them.

One thing to consider though--many of the books I'm mentioning have girl narrators or main characters who are girls. As a girl myself, I remember that I always related best to girl characters. It might be that your nephew could respond best to boy characters?

In which case I'll mention a Roald Dahl book that hasn't been mentioned yet, another one that I loved as a kid and I recently read it with my son:

James and the Giant Peach

Have fun! And what a great idea.

Yvette


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
In Spanish... May 29, 2007

Hi!

In Spanish, check out the books published by El Fondo de Cultura Económica, the children collection is called "A la orilla del viento": original works in Spanish and also very good translations. Very nice editions and not expensive at all. Good literature, new authors.

Also, the collection "Barco de vapor" of Alfaguara (I think). The books are classified in colors according to the reading level, so you (or he) can pick what seems adequate. Very nice stories that don't insult anyone's intelligence.

Don't try giving him stuff that is too advanced, because it will turn him off. At 6, he still needs a picture or drawing once in a while...

My sons are avid readers (they are much older now but they started early, with picture books and then carried on...), and finding good stuff in Spanish (and good translations, and also Spanish that was not "odd" because it was from Spain) was really hard.

My son LOVED Roald Dahl, the gore and all (or precisely because of it). Read him in 2nd grade (8 and 9 years old).



[Edited at 2007-05-29 03:11]

[Edited at 2007-05-29 03:12]


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